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Ohio Statehouse Cabinet Room

Kara Wente

Director of Children's Initiatives

Kara B. Wente was appointed as the Director of the Governor’s Children’s Initiative by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine in January of 2023. Prior to her appointment, Wente served as the Chief Operating Officer for Future Ready Columbus.

With more than 20 years in dedicated state service, Wente has extensive experience in serving the most vulnerable children and families in Ohio. Wente used data as an accountability tool for systemic change during her time as the Assistant Director of Health and Human Services at the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services and led several large-scale system and policy changes as Deputy Director at the Office of Family Assistance.

Wente is passionate about maintaining a family focused approach and is excited to partner at the local, state, and federal levels to find new ways to create efficiencies and reduce administrative burden to better serve Ohio’s children and families.

Wente holds a Master’s in Education and Allied Professions from the University of Dayton and a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology from The Ohio State University.

Originally from Northwest Ohio, Kara now resides in Central Ohio with her husband and two children.